Giving Back

NJ Sharing Network 5K 'Celebration of Life' on Target to Raise $1.25M, Saving Thousands of Lives

Thousands walked the streets of New Providence during the NJ Sharing Network 5K, Celebration of Life. Credits: Bobbie Peer
10,000 runners participate in the NJ Sharing Network 5K 'Celebration of Life' Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Race winners. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Race winner JP Flavin running in 15:49.58. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Alexandra Niles (18:06.71) first place girls finisher with her family. Credits: Bobbie Peer
"It’s an honor and a privilege to be the host community, it’s all for a great cause. -- It means a lot to us," said Mayor Al Morgan standing with CEO Joe Roth and UC Freeholder Angel Estrada. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Donna Albanese-DeMair, an originating committee member, now in its 7th yr. The event started with 28 teams and now is held in 3 locations with 200 teams participating, on target to raise $1.25M. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Mayor Al Morgan with Union County Freeholder Angel Estrada and Al Mirabella. Credits: Bobbie Peer

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - When thousands of participants filled the streets of New Providence at last Sunday's NJ Sharing Network's "Celebration of Life" 5K, they ran or walked with a story, a purpose -- to save lives together.

"When you share the story, you can’t help but to save a life," said Donna Albanese-DeMair, former Chair of NJ Sharing Network Foundation and one of the originators of the 5K which is in its seventh year. "People start talking, they start checking the box -- lives are saved by sharing our stories," she said. 

Albanese- DeMair, owner of Dairy Queen in Plainfield, has a story of her own -- she joined the organ donation family when she gave one of her kidneys to her mother. "When you save one life, you save a whole family," she said. "You are all part of my family, a part of my Sharing Network family. We are all here today to save lives."

Sign Up for E-News

At 9:30 a.m. there were Race Awards and a program which featured speakers including Albanese-DeMair; Elisse Glennon, Executive Director of Sharing Network Foundation; Stephen Adubato, television broadcaster for Caucus Educational Corporation; Joe Roth, President and CEO of NJ Sharing Network and Frank D’Amelio, executive vice-president of Business Operations and chief financial officer of Pfizer, Inc., which has been the presenting sponsor for seven consecutive years.

The event is made possible through the work of  222 volunteers and the event sponsors including presenting sponsor Pfizer, Inc, platinum sponsor RWJ Barnabas Health and the many gold, silver and bronze level sponsors. 

Mayor Al Morgan, representing the host town, along with Union County Freeholders Al Mirabella, Angel Estrada and Christopher Hudak were present and on stage. Hudak told his story that this year he became a member of a donor family. "My mother passed away very unexpectedly -- we found out she was an organ donor -- she registered on the national registry," said Hudak. "The hospital knew. I want to thank the Sharing Network and their professional staff - because without them, her gift would not have gone out so quickly."

Awards were given to the six top race winners who included: JP Flavin (15:49.58), Ben Evans (16:56.85), Zack Faljean (17:18.96), Alexandra Niles (18:06.71), Julia Trethaway (19:46.28) and Laura Baeyene (20:14.). 

Elisse Glennon looked out at the crowd of participants and was inspired. "You inspire us, you inspire family, friends and colleagues by the thousands to walk together so we can honor those who gave, pay tribute to those who received and offer hope to those who continue to wait, and remember the lives lost while waiting for the gift of life," said Glennon. "The sharing network commitment to our community is that we will not stop until everyone waiting for a transplant receives one."

The tent village was filled with a sea of colors that represented the 200 registered teams and thousands of participants -- each shirt represented a story of a donor or recipient.  

The bright pink Linda Lovees were in honor of Linda Finnegan, an aerobics instructor and phys-ed teacher, wife and mother of five who passed away suddenly in December. "She was a big motivator -- when this happened, we knew we wanted to get the biggest team," said Linda's daughter Shannon. Their team was 150 participants strong, raising over $9,000.

Race winner JP Flavin ran for team Tim's Rangers. Tim lost his life when struck by a car. Female repeat race winner Alexandra Niles ran for her mother Betsy, who was a donor.

The day also celebrated stories of receiving the gift of life. A husband was celebrating his 52nd wedding anniversary thanks to receiving a heart transplant 9 years ago, and a 14 year old was participating in the 5K because he was the recipient of a heart transplant at age 9. 

This year, the 5K "Celebration of Life" expanded to three locations -- a 5K Walk at Bergen Community College in Paramus in April, and the New Providence USATF Race and 5K Walk -- and new this year, a 5K was held in Long Branch at Great Lawn at the Ocean Promenade. 

The 200 teams registered are on target to raise $1,250,000. "The event continues to grow in leaps and bounds every year," said Glennon. "This is the nation’s most successful 5K for the cause of organ and tissue donation and you are all part of it."

The message to "checking the box" and register as an organ and tissue donor was heard loud and clear. -- "The message is simple, people come together thousands strong at the Sharing Network 5K to give the gift of life and to share and get the message out," said Steve Adubato, television broadcaster for Caucus Educational Corporation.

Participants also find comfort in the NJ Sharing Network family, knowing their loved ones carry on because of their gift of life. 

The Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad lost one of their own this past year. A large group of Summit EMTs and the surrounding community came out to honor Cindy Mahoney of Berkeley Heights, who suddenly passed away in November 2016.  

"We may not have given it much thought before," said Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad Chief Kari Phair.  "Everyone should consider it.-- I think all of us -- it is the single greatest gift to give peace and hope that she lives on."

Check out the NJ Sharing Network 5K Celebration of Life - New Providence photo album on Facebook for event day photos. Click here for race results.

NJ Sharing Network is a non-profit, federally designated organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for New Jersey residents in need of life-saving transplants.  The NJ Sharing Network Foundation is committed to increasing the number of lives saved through education, research, donor family support and public awareness about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. For more information and to register to be a donor, visit

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Bloomfield Residents Reminded to Clear Snow from Sidewalks within 24 Hours of Snowfall

March 22, 2018

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - All property owners are required by law to clear snow from sidewalks within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm. When possible use grassy areas to pile snow. 

The Township of Bloomfield reminds everyone that there are ordinances regarding tossing snow into the street.

Residents are also reminded to clear all snow from their vehicles. Snow can be ...

TAPinto Bloomfield's Kevin Knight among Nutley Jaycee's Distinguished Service Honorees

NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Jaycees wil hold the 47th annual Distinguished Service Awards Wednesday evening, April 12 at the Valley Regency in Clifton.

This year's awardees are:

Outstanding Young Man

Michael J. Nevin

Civic Affairs

Janet Canonico


Robyn Powell


Kevin Knight

Public Health and  Safety

Thomas Nicolette

The ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, March 23, 6:30 PM

Parks and Recreation Department , Nutley

Nutley Crew Beefsteak/Tricky Tray

Food & Drink Sports


Fri, March 23, 7:00 PM

West Orange High School , West Orange

WOHS Band Council Presents: A Concert for the ...

Arts & Entertainment Education Health & Wellness


Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Military Park, Newark

#NeverAgain March For Our Lives

Government Health & Wellness


Sat, March 24, 5:00 PM

St. James Episcopal Church , Upper Montclair

Montclair March For Our Lives

Education Health & Wellness


Sat, March 24, 7:30 PM

Livingston High School, Livingston

Livingston Symphony Orchestra: "Water. water.

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, March 26, 7:00 PM

Hospital Auditorium, Glen Ridge

Tour of the Birthing Center

Health & Wellness

Bloomfield Police Blotter March 12 - 18, 2018

March 22, 2018

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The following police blotter has been issued by Lt. Anthony Sisco of the Bloomfield Police Department.


3/14/18- Terry Scott Age 53 Of Newark, NJ- Officers dispatched to 60 Orange Street (Home Depot) on a report of a Shoplifter fleeing in a vehicle traveling on Orange Street. Suspect was stopped by Police in his vehicle. Loss Prevention reported ...

Melody Federico Takes the Helm at HOMECorp

March 23, 2018

Montclair, NJ – The HOMECorp Board of Trustees is excited to announce that they have hired Melody Federico of Wayne as their next Executive Director starting April 2, 2018.

Federico was most recently the Chief Real Estate Officer at NewBridge Services in Pequannock, where she led the social service agency’s real estate arm – developing and operating affordable housing for ...

United States Post Office Mailboxes Burglarized in West Essex Towns

FAIRFIELD, NJ — Local police departments are actively investigating burglaries and thefts involving United States Post Office mailboxes in Fairfield, Caldwell, West Caldwell, Livingston, Pine Brook and Orange.

According to the Fairfield Police Department, the Fairfield incident occurred sometime between March 15 at 5 p.m. and March 16 at 5 p.m. In this most recent incident, two mailboxes ...

Retro Fitness in Manahawkin Calls Stafford Police to Remove Man for Praying for Another Member

March 23, 2018

STAFFORD, NJ - Retro Fitness club member and Long Beach Township resident Craig Fasler was escorted by a member of the Stafford Township Police Department out of the gym because an employee accused him of sharing his faith in public. 

TAPinto Stafford-LBI was contacted by a Stafford Township resident about the incident that took place on Wednesday, March 21 around ...

Springfield Fire Department Delivers Baby on West I-78

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - On March 20, 2018 at 8:14 a.m. the Springfield Fire Department was dispatched to Route 78 Westbound near milepost 50.2 for a report of a woman in labor on the side of the road.  

Captain Mastroeni (Unit 2) & Chief Palumbo (Unit 1) were the first units to arrive on scene, and quickly recognized that the woman would be unable to make it to the hospital in time for ...

Avon Loses Its Last ‘Grand’ Hotel to the Claw of an Excavator

March 18, 2018

AVON-BY-THE-SEA, NJ — In less than two days, an Avon-by-the-Sea landmark that stood for 130 years was reduced to a huge pile of rubble. The Norwood Inn no longer stands on the corner of Norwood and Second Avenues — the last of the stately hotels that once graced the streets of Avon.

As onlookers gathered around the demolition site on March 15 and March 16, an excavator clawed its ...

Mis-management At Presby Threatens the Future of the Garden

March 22, 2018

Dear Editor,

It is with concern that I bring this subject to the attention to all who care and treasure the Presby Memorial Iris Garden, which along with the cherry trees of Branch Brook Park is one of the crown jewels of the Essex County Park System.  This historic garden founded 90 years ago by Frank Presby on  Upper Mt. Ave. is known internationally for its collection which ...

#Enough Nutley High School Walkout: By Students, for Students

To the Editor:

Disgusted by federal inaction, devastated by the Parkland shooting, and determined to see real change, students around the country walked out of class at 10 a.m. on March 14th, one month after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Students of Nutley High School also protested, in solidarity with students from over 3000 other schools ...

How Can Sports Therapy Loosen Up Winter Muscles?

Whether you are new to the gym or a seasoned athlete, the winter weather can affect your body. In these cold conditions, muscles are forced to work harder to complete tasks. This extra effort can result in muscle soreness and damage to tissue. While you may not be able to avoid the cold, preventive measure can help avoid discomfort and injury. Learning and implementing sports therapy techniques, ...

Pro Staff Institute announces partnership with Uber Health

NUTLEY, NJ - Pro Staff Institute is proud to announce their participation in Uber Health, a new transportation program designed to provide transportation to patients. Pro Staff Institute is the first physical therapy center in the nation to leverage Uber Health, and joins over other 100 health care organizations in the U.S., including hospitals, clinics, rehab centers and senior care ...

Bloomfield Bengals Athletic Update February 19, 2018

Indoor track competed at the Group IV Championships and two athletes advanced to the Meet of Champions. Kaela Edwards broke her own school record in the 55-meter hurdles finishing second. La’Shan White finished an impressive 5th in the 400-meter run outrunning his number 10 seed.  

 Wrestling competed at the District 9 Championship. Two Bengals advanced to the Region ...

Bloomfield Bengals Athletic Update February 12, 2018

 Boys Basketball faced Barringer in a round of 16 match up in the ECT and won by a decisive score of 67-40. Junior Mike Ramos joined the 1000 point club for his career with a 29 point effort.

 Bowling added Essex County Championships for both the Boys and Girls to their already impressive resumes. The Boys County title is their first since the 2002-03 season while the Girls ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 22, 2018


STATEWIDE - It's been excruciating to write about snow; there's only so much you can blindly repeat without sounding like a 24-hour news channel. The final totals: 14 inches in the central and southern part of the state, and at least 5 inches in all northern counties. Yippee.  As of 6 a.m. this morning, the utility companies were ...

Queen Mary and the Cruiser

Queen Mary and the Cruiser by David A. Thomas and Patrick Holmes (Naval Institute Press, 1997)

“Had the forenoon watch and after eating went out onto the fo'c'sle. Just arrived at the top of the ladder by the PO's heads when the wave hit me---waist high---and knocked me over. Looking astern---through the bulkhead door which was open, saw the stern of a ship sticking up out of ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

Mountainside Medical Center Offers New 24/7 Senior Mental Health Helpline

March 21, 2018

Montclair, NJ -- Mountainside Medical Center has established a 24/7 Senior Intervention Helpline to address the behavioral health concerns of area residents age 65 and older.  Seniors in distress, along with authorized caregivers for the elderly who aren’t sure where to turn for help, are urged to call (973) 429-6073 whenever assistance from the hospital’s team of specially ...

Boy Scout of America’s Prepared For Life Dinner Features Captain Mark Kelly

The Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scout of America’s Fourth Annual Prepared for Life, Friends of Scouting Dinner will feature NASA space mission commander and American hero Captain Mark Kelly.

The event will be held on April 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Venetian in Garfield, 546 River Dr. The event starts with a reception hour at 6 p.m.

Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center Presents:Ron Guidry Book Signing, Apr. 3

Ron Guidry, known as "Gator" and "Louisiana Lightning" to his teammates, quickly rose in 1977 to become the ace of the Yankees' stellar pitching staff, helping the team regarded as one of the most famous and controversial in Yankees history to win two World Series championships. 

Join us on Tuesday, April 3 for a signing of Guidry's new ...

4th Wall Announces Auditions for FUN HOME

4th Wall Theatre, a non-union NJ theatre company, will hold open auditions for all roles in the final production of its 2017-18 season, FUN HOME, with music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, and based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. 4th Wall’s production will be directed by Kate Swan with music direction by Markus Grae-Hauck. The show will be presented at ...


- Mar 14, 2018
Past Deputy Grand Marshall of St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Merchant Marine veteran James J.
Read more
- Feb 28, 2018
John Genitempo, The “Silver Fox”, of Nutley, passed away on Wednesday February 28, 2018 ...
Read more